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Count The Legend of Dracula to be staged at the Averitt
Portraying Count Dracula, Bobby Wesner, top center, of the Neos Dance Theater blocks out a scene during a technical rehearsal of "Count ... the Legend of Dracula" at the Averitt Center for the Arts Wednesday. The Statesboro Youth Ballet have joined ranks with Neos Dance Theater to produce a modern adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel, featuring visual and audio effects, life sized props, and other unique surprises. Shows are Friday Oct. 17 and Saturday Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Emma Kelly Theater. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Following a well-received performance last spring, Neos Dance Theatre will reappear at the Emma Kelly Theater with an original, multimedia ballet “Count … the Legend of Dracula” on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

This re-envisioned version of Bram Stoker’s classic tale was written in collaboration with Emmy Award-winning writer Michael Thomas, who worked with Tina Fey on “Second City.” The production features fresh choreography, unique multimedia special effects and a rock soundtrack.

“Throughout the ballet, we’ve taken liberties to alter the original story by accentuating the origins of ‘Dracula’ through the use of flashbacks and ‘time travel,’” said Neos director Bobby Wesner. “The production jumps from one time and place to another, highlighting the relationships of the four main characters (Mina, Lucy, Dracula and Jonathan), and offering an explanation as to why Dracula is so driven to find Mina, who he believes to be his long lost lover, Elizabeth.”

The choreography in this production is a mixture of classical and contemporary ballet styles. In addition to the acting and dancing, elements of film and lighting are used to move the story line along.

“To me, one of the most fascinating aspects of ballet is how it tells a story using dance, pantomime and body language,” said Jurijs Safonovs, the Statesboro Youth Ballet’s director. “I think it is very easy to understand this ballet. It is filled with interesting visual and audio effects, video projection, life-size props and other unique tools to keep the audience involved in the story.” 

Local dancers, most from Statesboro Youth Ballet, will round out the performance cast. 

“One of the most exciting aspects of this production is that our local community dancers get a chance to perform on-stage with the professional Neos dancers,” said Safonovs. “Neos director Bobby Wesner traveled from his home state of Ohio to see and cast the dancers. Our local talent will be performing in the performances as Dracula’s Minions, London Vampires, Gypsies and more.”

Neos Dance Theatre began 10 years ago. Two years ago, the company relinquished the financial support it had been receiving from Ohio’s Renaissance Performing Arts Association to become its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Safonovs served as Neos Dance Theatre’s ballet master before he was hired as the artistic director of the Statesboro Youth Ballet two years ago.

For more information on this production or for tickets, call the box office Tuesday through Friday between noon and 5:30 p.m. at (912) 212-2787, or purchase tickets online at



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